Divorce is always hard. It is even more difficult when you have children, add on top of that, a child with special needs, and divorce becomes a quagmire of issues with no easy answers. This post will discuss the issue inherent to divorce involving children with special needs.
The CDC estimates that 1 in 10 children are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. The CDC also estimates that 1 in 110 children are diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum. Add those numbers to the fact that parents who care for a special needs child are 50 percent more likely to divorce, and you now have thousands of children with special needs experiencing divorce.
Courts award primary custody, especially in these matters, to one parent while the other parent gets overnight visitation rights. But, many children with special needs do not do well in new environments. Moreover, a child with special needs may struggle to understand that they will see their other parent again on another night. These types of arrangements can be very traumatic for children with special needs, and the court needs to be made aware of that fact.
Additionally, children with special needs require extra care and time. These demands require parents to closely coordinate their activities to ensure that the child goes to all of her classes, therapies, and other needs. If a divorce is acrimonious parents tend to put their children between them, for every child this is traumatic, but for children with special needs, it is particularly harmful.
As you can see, divorcing while you have a child with special needs is complicated. Children with special needs require their parents to go above and beyond to ensure that their personal disputes do not harm their child. You may want to speak with an attorney to ensure that you address every issue that your child needs before you finalize the custody and support arrangement.